PSV face a hectic schedule the next nine weeks, playing sixteen matches in quick succession. Head Roger Schmidt looked ahead to the ‘English weeks’ at his weekly press briefing on Friday afternoon, starting with the trip to PEC Zwolle on Sunday.
Schmidt worked with a near full-strength squad at PSV Campus De Herdgang on Friday morning, including the summer signings Ibrahim Sangaré, Mario Götze and Adrian Fein. “I have always insisted that we should remain patient”, said Schmidt, looking back at the summer transfer window. “And the patience has paid off: I am happy with the squad. It feels like it is the start to the new season. We have a good squad now and we have to build a good team spirit. The games are coming thick and fast and we are really looking forward to the challenge of building a good team and convincing the squad of our preferred style of play.”
Schmidt thought PSV needed to bolster their squad with some new signings because of the tough schedule. He used the phrase ’English weeks’, referring to a schedule of three matches every week. “That’s what we want: play games but we need a 20-man squad to compete at home and in Europe.”
“We now have an opportunity to rotate the squad. Last season ended prematurely due to the virus and the lads have not enough match rhythm to perform to their best both on Thursday and Sunday. I think we will do better now we have signed a few new players. They are fully motivated and are training in high spirits. They are good players but also really nice guys. They have a positive impact here. It is good to have competition in the team and it’s good for me. I have a lot of options.”
Favourites to win the title
Schmidt played down the idea that PSV are now favourites to win the Eredivisie title. “The club with the biggest budget usually has the best chance to clinch the title. We don’t have the biggest budget”, said Roger Schmid. “We are the challengers. We have a good squad but we need the luck not to cope with many injuries. Let’s focus on giving a good account of ourselves every week.”
”Starting on Sunday when we meet PEC Zwolle. We did not have the whole squad together this week but we had an opportunity to work with the new players and we can train with the whole squad today and tomorrow in order to be ready for Sunday’s game”, said Schmidt, who added that Jordan Teze had returned to full training after he had tested positive for coronavirus earlier this week. Cody Gakpo and Mo Ihattaren, who suffered minor problems, are back in contention, but Eran Zahavi picked up a knock on international duty. I expect he will be back in training tomorrow”, concluded Schmidt.